Gemini: Heroes Reborn (Xbox One) Review

Based in the universe of the Heroes Reborn television show, Gemini casts players in the role of Cassandra, a girl with a forgotten past looking for clues about her long lost family. Cassandra believes she is just an ordinary girl exploring an abandoned warehouse before her whole world is turned upside down. Those that haven't watched Heroes Reborn or the original series need not fret, since this is only based in the same universe. Throughout my playthrough, I only saw a few references to the show that were in no way impactful to the very predictable story on offer here.

Over the course of 16 levels that span just over four hours, Cassandra will discover she has the power to not only slow time but to peer and jump between time periods and move objects via telekinesis. Abilities that are ripe for making an interesting game, but are completely squandered here by a less than mediocre package.

gemini heroes reborn insert 1Jumping through time takes Cassandra between 2008 in the past and the present in 2014. Time jumping can be done to avoid enemies, get through blocked pathways, and to grab objects with telekinesis to use as weapons. However, since this can be done at the press of a button at almost any time, there is no sense of danger and no real difficulty. About to die? Time jump and wait until your health comes back. Need a an object to use as a weapon? Time jump, find one, jump back with it and chuck it at your enemy’s head.

On top of that, the AI is abysmal, often losing sight of you even though they should have direct line of sight with Cassandra. Not only are they stupid, but the AI take far too much damage to kill, sometimes requiring four or more attacks consisting of throwing an object at their head, or throwing them. This is especially annoying when most levels consist of room after room of enemies to kill before the door to the next area unlocks.

The combat sounds great on paper, stopping bullets in midair to throw back at enemies, picking up and tossing enemies, and, of course, force-throwing boxes and desks at their heads. But it just never plays out in interesting ways and mostly boils down to tossing boxes at the same few enemies’ heads over and over, or just tossing the enemy themselves over and over ‘till they finally drop dead.

Worst of all, Gemini is buggy, more so than any game I've played in a long time. Multiple times during my playthrough I had to restart at the most recent checkpoint due to enemies getting stuck in walls or ceilings. I had to restart an entire level as the waymarker to advance to the next section that was located in a previous area I could no longer access. Another time, I was forced to restart at the nearest checkpoint and I spawned further in the level somehow, past a part that had glitched preventing me from progressing. I also fell through the map multiple times, falling into nothingness until restarting.

gemini heroes reborn insert 4I can't speak for other versions, but the Xbox One version ran at 30fps most of the time. There is a very noticeable blur when panning from side to side, which I couldn't quite tell if it was intended or frames being dropped. When using the ability to peek between times, a circular opening floats in front of you. When doing this, the graphics are heavily downgraded with noticeable jaggies. The lighting can also cause sections of the game to be too dark or bright to see.

Gemini had so much potential that is squandered by poor execution. With tons of bugs, terrible AI, and a total lack of challenge, I can't recommend anyone purchase this. We can only hope a developer can salvage some of the worthwhile mechanics from here and uses them for a better game.